This morning I walked the dog in the campground. It was deserted, quiet and peaceful. Well except for the few cars that drove by. We saw a squirrel and Jessie dog loved that. She gets so excited. I heard the cardinals singing and the robins chirping. I couldn’t identify one bird song that I heard. It was quite lovely though.
I noticed that the campground maintenance crew is taking down a bunch of dead trees. They are just everywhere and a big orange “X” on a lot more. I thought to myself that I hoped they would be planting some new trees to take the place of the old ones.
Last year I worked with Master Gardeners during Arbor Day and packed up pine trees for every kid in third grade in Stephenson County, Illinois. We had lists of all the classes and how many were in each class. There were quite a few, to say the least. I believe it took us nearly 3 hours to accomplish this task. At the end of bagging we were all given the option to choose a tree to take home and plant.
I chose a white pine tree that looked very healthy and I took it to the campground and planted it near the entrance in memory of my good friend and hairdresser, Terry Vecchio. Terry had succumbed to cancer the previous February. I knew of her love of the outdoors and gardening and I thought it appropriate to plant the tree to remember her. I got two big limbs and put them next to the tree so the mowers would not mow it down.
I found out that fall that the campground supervisors had discovered the little tree and had watered it all summer long. I was so thrilled. The tree was growing strong.
That fall I surrounded the tree with leaves and stick to protect it a little during the coming winter. My first walk this Spring I uncovered the little tree and talked to it. I was so glad it had survived its first winter in the campground. Again, I took a couple of large branches and stuck them in the ground by the tree to mark its place.
I visit the tree at the end of each of my walks and give it more encouragement to grow into the beauty that it possesses.
My daughter, Jess, planted her tree from 3rd grade next to our house. It is now taller than our house and I really wish I had planted it a few more feet further out. It is a pain in the butt because I have to rake my entire truck bed full of needles a couple times a year to keep it maintained. I love the white pine in my yard and will try to maintain it until we move from this place.
I’m going to help with the tree bagging again this Arbor Day. I’m proud to be a tree hugger. And this year I want to ask the Lake Management if I can plant some more little trees from the bagging effort. Will follow up on that at a later date.
These are not white pines but aren't these just the loveliest trees? Taken last fall on one of my walks.